Condensation in the home is a result of high moisture in the air condensing on cold surfaces in the property. Naturally the winter months are prone to condensation occurring in homes, specifically October through to April. Condensation
can lead to damp walls, peeling wallpaper and damage to fabrics. It could also result in the development of mould growth and unpleasant smells.
It is important to have adequate heating and ventilation in your property and it is also important to reduce the amount of moisture created in your home to reduce the level of moisture in the air. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to reduce and prevent condensation.
The first step is to reduce the level of moisture created in the property in normal day to day activities.
First of all, when you are cooking you should use an extractor fan. If you don’t have this function available then you could open a window. This ventilation reduces the extra build-up of moisture within the home. If for any reason you cannot open your windows for ventilation then you should ensure window vents are open.
Secondly, you should always use the extractor fan in the bathroom after showering. If you have a window in the bathroom then this should be kept open after showering. Plus the door should be kept closed for as long as possible after showering. This ensures that moisture won’t escape to other parts of the house.
Drying clothes at home is another way that condensation could develop. To avoid this, you should keep all drying clothes within an enclosed room and improve the ventilation. If you have a tumble dryer then it is important to have adequate ventilation to the outside of the building.
Finally, ensure that your furniture is positioned clear of the wall to increase airflow. You should try to leave a gap between your furniture and the walls to allow sufficient airflow which can stop condensation
and mould growth on the wall and furniture.
Heating and Ventilation
As well as working to reduce the amount of moisture created in the home it is important that there is enough ventilation in your home. Your Kitchen and Bathroom should have a working and appropriate mechanical extractor ventilation unit to remove moisture from these areas. It is just as important to ensure that the property is heated properly as less than adequate heating can encourage the moisture in the atmosphere to condense on cold surfaces which may result in the growth of mould on these surfaces.
Why is condensation so common?
Today condensation is a big problem with 1 in 5 properties now affected. In the past, properties typically were not affected by condensation. The reason for this is that older properties tended to be less air tight than newly built properties today. Also, they weren’t very well insulated or had poorly fitted doors and windows. Although this caused a problem with draughts in the home, it allowed moisture to escape and thus avoided moisture in the air to build up. In recent years homeowners have spent money to insulate their homes with double glazing, cavity wall
and loft insulation. This is beneficial as it is more energy efficient. However, it generally reduces the ventilation levels and means that moisture in the home cannot escape, resulting in condensation which can lead to problems with mould. Where there are property defects like penetrating or rising damp this can cause cold walls in a property and high moisture in the atmosphere will be attracted to the cold walls which occurs when the wall temperature is below the dew point.
If you have reoccurring condensation or damp walls then contact Richardson and Starling. We have a variety of products available to apply to your home to prevent condensation, such as positive pressure ventilation.
Positive pressure ventilation
Positive pressure ventilation, which is also known as Positive Input Ventilation is a solution for people struggling with condensation problems in their home. It is a small unit which is placed in the loft or on the wall of your home and is ducted through your ceiling or wall into the hallway. This is because the hallway usually is in the centre of the property and has access to the other rooms. The unit has a fan which draws fresh air from outside. The Fresh air is filtered and passes into your home via the unit and duct. This pushes the existing moisture laden air out of the property and replaces it with fresh air received via the positive pressure ventilation system.
The benefits of positive pressure ventilation
This condensation solution is cost effective to install and operate. The installation is straight forward and will not disrupt your home as it is inserted into your loft space, attic or an appropriate room. As well as reducing the level of the air humidity in your property it also removes contaminants from the air such as cleaning chemical smells. Also, you can save on your heating bills as the positive input ventilation system re-circulates the hot air in your rooms that has gathered at ceiling level.
We work in partnership with EnviroVent
the largest supplier of Positive Input Ventilation and extraction ventilation units in the UK. Please see details below of some of their products that we fit to solve property Condensation problems:
WC, Bathroom and Kitchen extract fan
This high performance extractor fan reduces humidity levels using the lowest energy consumption. This product comes with a 7 year warranty.
Mr Venty ECO2 Loft
Condensation control unit for homes with a loft
This is a positive pressure ventilation system that comes with a 5 year guarantee.
Mr Venty ECO2 Wall
Energy Efficient Condensation-Control Unit for Flats and Apartments
These systems are placed high on a wall of an appropriate room of the flat. These are useful where a loft area is not accessible.
Intelligent Single Room Heat Recovery (SRHRV) Unit
This product is ideal for bathrooms, kitchens and WC’s.
Should you have a Condensation or mould problem then contact your local Richardson & Starling branch and our experienced surveyors will be happy to help.
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